The housing costs element of Universal Credit replaces Housing Benefit for tenants. You will no longer be able to claim Housing Benefit from Coventry City Council, this will be included in your Universal Credit award.
Your housing costs element is usually paid direct to you, rather than being paid to your landlord.
It is important to make rent your top priority. You will need to set up a method to pay the rent. If you are claiming Universal Credit make sure to tell your landlord so they can provide proof of your rent. Your landlord may also be able to offer other advice on making your rent payments.
If you are already receiving Housing Benefit you will receive a further two weeks Housing Benefit from when you claim Universal Credit. This will not affect the amount of your first Universal Credit award. It should help to manage the change from Housing Benefit payments to Universal Credit. You will not need to ask for this, it will be awarded automatically. You may be contacted to ask for your bank details to make payment if you have moved address and your payments were being made to your old landlord.
When you claim Universal Credit you will be asked if your landlord was receiving your Housing Benefit payment direct. If they were then your Universal Credit amount for housing costs can also be paid direct to your landlord.
If your circumstances mean that you can’t manage your rent payments yourself, or you are struggling to manage your rent payments or fall behind with your rent then you can ask to have the housing costs element of your Universal Credit paid directly to you landlord. You can also have an amount deducted from your Universal Credit to pay your arrears if you can’t make an arrangement with your landlord.
If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, which includes Housing Costs for rent payments, and you are struggling to pay all of your rent you may be eligible for extra help through a Discretionary Housing Payment.